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Far East Organization takes home two wins at Retail Asia Awards

The company received awards for its baking studio and cafe initiative, as well as its app loyalty programme.

Far East Organization, a prominent real estate developer, was awarded two prestigious titles at the Retail Asia Awards 2023. The accolades were received for their innovative initiatives: Baker X @ Orchard Central, a baking studio and café, and the shopFarEast mobile app, a multi-mall loyalty program offered by Far East Malls.

An initiative by Far East Organization’s Retail Business Group, Baker X was set up with the aim of supporting home-based bakers to trial their business in a retail setting before taking the step to scale up into full-fledged outlets. The baking studio and cafe are located in Orchard Central.

Baker X supports home-based bakers by providing a fully-fitted baking studio and café at no cost. Bakers only need to bring their own ingredients and disposables for their baking residency. Operationally, Far East Organization covered the cost of utilities, cleaning, pest control, all necessary permits, licences, and insurance.

To drive awareness for each home baker, the company also secures media and publicity opportunities through hosting media tasting sessions, organising media drops for the media influencers, and promoting these bakers in the mall and on digital platforms such as Orchard Central’s website and Instagram page.

Since launching Baker X, Far East Organization has received over 100 applications from home bakers and there has been positive feedback from past home bakers and shoppers. Of the 17 home bakers who have taken residency at Baker X, eight had such a positive experience that they are now opening their own physical store. During their residency, most home bakers reported that their profits more than doubled compared to home-based sales.

Home bakers have also given feedback that the Baker X initiative has benefited the home bakers' community greatly. Media publications and influencers who were engaged to promote Baker X have responded positively, generating over $6.5m in PR value within 1.5 years of operation across print news articles, radio interviews, online news sites, and influencer-generated content. Due to the overwhelming response, Baker X has increased its seating capacity from the original 10-seater to the current 22-seater café.

At the same time, other home-based entrepreneurs have reached out to Far East Organization to start a similar model for their industry. These include restaurants, social causes, and art and crafts. Initially planned as a six-month project ending in June 2022, the company has extended this retail innovation to the end of December 2023 due to strong demand from home bakers.

According to Far East Organization, “Through this programme, Far East Organization continues enriching its consumers' experience to remain at the forefront of consumer trends by bringing fresh, contemporary brands and distinctive concepts to its malls.”

With the success of Baker X, the Far East Organization clinched the ESG Initiative of the Year - Singapore category win at the prestigious awards programme.

Meanwhile, with the launch of Far East’s shopFarEast loyalty programme in 2018, members are rewarded with points when they purchase at participating retailers across the 22 Far East Malls. They can redeem these points for hotel stays, parking credits, and shopping vouchers, amongst others.

In 2022, the loyalty programme app underwent a revamp in response to feedback from shoppers to enhance the original features and introduce new functions. The objective of this revamp was to streamline shoppers’ journeys to improve user experience and to scale up the offerings and value to the shoppers.

With the enhanced app, first-time members can select their interests upon logging in. After that, they can change their interests at any time in the settings. Based on their interests, members will receive a personalised feed of deals and promotions that are relevant and unique to their preferences. Likewise, push notifications are customised according to the shoppers’ interests.

Far East Organization also noted that “The shopFarEast App is designed to make shopping more enjoyable and convenient whilst creating a seamless cycle that connects shoppers' in-mall experiences to online points redemption that brings customers back to the mall. With streamlined in-app interactions and tangible benefits that translate to real value, the shopFarEast App programme plays a crucial role in Far East Organization's retail strategy.”

Far East Organization bagged the Retail App of the Year - Singapore category win in the awards programme for the shopFarEast loyalty programme app.

Retail Asia Awards gathers the region's best retailers and recognises major breakthroughs, innovations, and key players in the Asia retail industry.

 

The Retail Asia Awards is presented by Retail Asia Magazine. To view the full list of winners, click here. If you want to join the 2024 awards programme and be acclaimed for your company's exceptional products or initiatives in the retail industry, please contact Jane Patiag at [email protected].

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